Live to ride.
Allow us to introduce: Inga Birna Erlingsdóttir, currently the only female motorcycle police officer in Iceland. Motorcycles are Inga's great passion. For her job she rides all day, every day. In her spare time, she exchanges her police motorcycle for a BMW GS.
Determined to be successful
It isn't easy to be a woman in a man's world, but Inga Birna Erlingsdóttir has never let herself be deterred by that. As she joined the police academy in Iceland, she decided to become part of the motorcycle police. She knew how hard it is to be accepted to the motorcycle police, but that only made the brunette with the icy blue eyes even more determined to land the coveted job on two wheels.
"It was great when I finally got the opportunity to prove myself," says the 38-year-old from Mosfellsbær. "After a long training period and after I earned the respect of my peers, I started my police service on a motorcycle in May 2015. Whenever people on the street see my long braid hanging down from my helmet, they always need to look always twice - they just don't expect to see any female motorcycle police officers!"
The time for fun is when the work is done.
The time for fun is when the work is done.
Riding a motorcycle was always a key ingredient in Inga's life. When she's not at work patrolling the streets of Reykjavik, she takes off road trips with her own BMW F 650 GS. She always wanted a bike from BMW, but as she began looking for one 8 years ago, there wasn't any possibility to buy one in Iceland.
"I decided to import a GS from Denmark since I couldn't find one in Iceland. I organized the transport, picked up the machine at the port and drove it home. That was the beginning of a great passion for the brand. I'm sure that I was the first woman in Iceland to own a GS."
Inga Birna Erlingsdóttir
Victory Within Reach
When Inga heard that BMW Motorrad was planning to put together a women's team for the international GS Trophy, she knew immediately that she wanted to be part of this exciting initiative. "Honestly I never thought that they would take me. I sent my video post, and on my birthday I received an email that I had made it to the pre-selection round. I was overjoyed." A few weeks later, Inga flew to South Africa, where she met the 9 other female GS riders who had made it to the screening out of a total of 120 female riders.
Together, they fought for the opportunity to represent their country (and gender) at the international GS Trophy, the most famous off road motorcycle racing event for customers in the world. "Already at the first meeting I realized that it is a very special group of women because each of them was given the chance to take part in the qualifying round. I personally wasn't looking at it as a competition since I was just over the moon for taking part in a race with other women for the first time!"
After a series of intense qualifying rounds over three days at the Country Trax Enduro Park, Inga finished fifth and thus didn't make it in the women's team. But after the initial disappointment was gone, she soon began reflecting on the incredible experience which they had had together, the unique atmosphere and the camaraderie she had experienced within this global community of female riders.
"Participating in the qualifying round gave me a purpose and a mission - to encourage more women in Iceland to ride motorcycle", Inga says with genuine enthusiasm. "I reached out to all the women at home who are interested in off road riding and organized a get together. We drove a place where we could train together. Not all of us had GS of BMW's, but we were excited by the possibilities offered by this motorcycle. And I discovered that I have a passion for teaching. Riding a GS has changed my life incredibly."
The end of isolation.
Inga is still in contact with the GS women who took part in the qualifying in South Africa and met with the 4 winners in July at the BMW Motorrad Days in Germany. "To be part of the community of BMW Motorrad for me is like a dream come true.
Because of the bike that I drive, I now have friends all over the world. When you meet these people,it's like meeting a member of your family – all share the same passion and all will continue to make sure that the GS spirit stays alive."
In addition to riding a motorcycle, Inga is also a talented artist and single mother of a 16-year competitive gymnast. It is her big dream to travel the world on her motorcycle and to take her son with her on this trip. Until then, she wants advertise Iceland as a destination for adventure holidays.
"There are not many places that beat Iceland as a travel destination for motorcycle riders, and the reason why I have a GS is that it allows me to go exactly where I want to go. I love the highlands and mountains with their breathtaking colours and landscapes. The country is ideal for adventure trips with a motorcycle, especially with travel companies, such as Biking Viking, whose fleet has included GS BMWs since they began offering tours."
After having experienced the benefits of training, camaraderie and travel first hand, Inga is determined to share her knowledge with others and to help them become better riders. Her plans for the future also include becoming a riding instructor so that she can help others to discover the joy of driving. "I consider it my duty to make my life an adventure ride.
In the long winter months in Iceland I'm always unhappy because I have to sit in a police car, and I feel so good when I can put on my motorcycle helmet again come the spring. When I sit on a motorcycle, I just want to share this joy with others. Isn't that what it's all about when riding a motorcycle - sharing your life and your passion with everyone else? "